Gypsy ! en espanol! Moth Seminario Para spray Quien Compra Coming late April Casa Por Primera Contact Montgomery Vez (pagina 4) County DEP. Published by the City of Takoma Park www.takomaparkmd.gov APRIL 2008 Residents Urge Legal Action: Earth Day Celebrations Expand Metro Development Opposed By Virginia Myers O T n Wednesday, March 19, a commu- akoma Park celebrates Earth Day all nity workshop was held to discuss the month this year with new events as question, “What should the Takoma well as old favorites. All are designed Park City Council do now that WMATA has to help residents celebrate nature, encour- approved the sale of land at the Takoma Met- age conservation and educate about ener- ro station for a townhouse development?” gy use and environmentalism. Approximately 60 people and all seven city Although it is not directly related to councilmembers, attended the workshop. Earth Day events, the Takoma Horti- A large majority of those who spoke at cultural Club presentation on invasive the hearing urged the City Council to op- weeds certainly fits with the theme of the pose development at the property, and many month, and it is the first event on the cal- urged the City to take legal action to prevent endar. Betty Marose, Extension Educator the development. The Council will be con- and Weed Science Specialist in the De- sidering revising the City’s position, which partment of Entomology at the Univer- currently only focuses on preserving transit sity of Maryland, will discuss the ecology access, through the spring. and management of invasive weeds, using The workshop was facilitated by the firm, integrated approaches, Wednesday, April Justice and Sustainability Associates, who 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Center worked to help gain community comment Azalea Room. Participants are invited to at this phase of the controversial project. bring their “favorite” weeds for identifica- Leo Blain emerges from his hunt for trash to “surf” on the port-o-potty door In addition to the people who attended the tion and advice on control strategies. he and his father, Mike Blain, found in Sligo Creek during the 2006 Sweep workshop, more than 200 others submitted The annual Arbor Day Celebration, the Creek event. This year the annual clean-up, sponsored by Friends of completed questionnaires on the issue. The sponsored by the City of Takoma Park, Sligo Creek, is April 26 from 9 to 11 a.m. at various locations along the surveys, and the facilitator’s report, will be April 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Li- creek. See fosc.org for more information. Photo: Courtesy of FOSC shared with the Council and posted on the brary lawn, includes pruning demonstra- City’s web page, at www.takomaparkmd. tions and lessons, information tables from questions about the trees in your yard, or gardening work. Those who want to help gov/documents/metro. organizations like the National Wildlife in the city. (For related story on pruning, are encouraged to bring their own gar- The prospect of development at the Ta- Federation Backyard Habitat project and see page 7.) dening gloves and tools. koma Metro Station has been under consid- Friends of Sligo Creek, and activities for To help beautify the City, you can par- There will be a big bash at the Takoma eration for the past 10 years. Plans for a mix the kids. The annual tree giveaway will ticipate in Main Street Takoma’s Spring Park-Silver Spring Co-op Earth Day Cel- of commercial and townhome-residential make a variety of species available to resi- Clean Up, Saturday, April 19 from 9 a.m. ebration Sunday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to have stirred numerous discussions, and dents for planting, including black cher- to noon. Volunteers will pick up litter, 7 p.m., coordinated in part with Junction eight City Council resolutions, expressing ry, chestnut oak, white oak, swamp white mulch tree boxes and plant flowers. Gath- Day. The celebration, held in the park- concern over transit access, safety and den- oak, persimmon, white ash, black walnut, ering points are at Laurel Avenue by the ing lot next to the co-op, will include two sity. Much of the controversy’s history can bald cypress, catalpa and white pine. In- clock tower, Morris Park at Takoma Junc- popular bands, Magpie (from 11 a.m. to be seen at www.takomaparkmd.gov/docu- ternational Society of Arborist members tion, and Triangle Park, at 4th Street NW 1 p.m.) and Afrofunk dance band Chop- ments/metro. will be on hand to show off their climbing in the District. Members of Main Street teeth (at 4 p.m.). In between, a drum cir- rigs, and may even let visitors give them a Takoma will be on hand at each location cle will gather – bring your own drum, or try themselves. Plus, City Arborist Todd to provide gloves and bags for trash re- earth day Takoma Park, MD 20912 7500 Maple Ave. Mayor & Council Bolton will be available to answer your moval, and mulch and plantings for the continues on page 7 Construction Begins on New Takoma Park Firehouse E ECRWSS POSTAL CUSTOMER xactly 81 years after it was first built, unteer firefighters and their equipment. The was purchased from the absentee owner. and more than a decade of wrangling station will continue to operate at full scale The tenant at 7133 had county assistance over complicated plans to rebuild, during construction and after it moves into finding alternative housing. the Takoma Park Fire Station is about to the temporary quarters some time this fall. Construction on the new firehouse is ex- be rebuilt. Since the project to replace the Fire officials say the current firehouse is pected to begin in the fall, and take about a aging building began, planners have had to too small and decrepit to properly accom- year and a half to complete. address the demolition of an existing resi- modate modern firefighting requirements. dential property, possible eviction of aging Its replacement, which is costing about $11 tenants, transfer of land ownership from million, should be ready for occupancy in City to County, and plans to shift an entire fire station to temporary quarters. There are 2010. As the project progresses, the house at InsIde: also smaller-scale issues, like asbestos abate- 7135 Carroll Avenue will be demolished to ireland in takoMa park ment that must precede demolition. make room for the expanded firehouse. Its PRE-SORT STANDARD ........................................ page 3 TAKOMA PARK, MD PERMIT NO. 4422 Needless to say, firefighters are cheering next door neighbor, 7133, at one point tar- U.S. POSTAGE the onset of physical progress. The first step, geted for a similar fate, is being spared. The environMentalist lecture the construction of a temporary station on residences were a difficult stumbling block PAID ........................................ page 5 the parking lot adjacent to the existing fa- during the planning process. The County police chief's first year cility, is expected to begin this month. The wound up purchasing 7135 from its elderly temporary quarters will involve trailers and owner, renovating the house next door and ........................................ page 9 tents that will accommodate career and vol- moving the owner to that property, which Page 2 April 2008 Takoma Park Newsletter CITY COUNCIL AND COMMITTEE City Council Action CALENDAR* for further information, or to receive a copy of the legislation, contact the city clerk’s office, 301-891-7267 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Wednesday, april 2 - Health Services Impact Committee meeting, 7 p.m. (CC Hydrangea Room) february 11, 2008 - regular Meeting March 3, 2008 - special session Monday, april 7 - City Council meeting, 7:30 second reading ordinance 2008-1 was adopt- resolution 2008-21 was adopted, supporting Mary- p.m. (CC Auditorium) ed by roll-call vote, as amended, making techni- land House Bill 857, Annexation of Small Parcels. tuesday, april 8 - Committee on the Environment cal amendments to Takoma Park Code, Chap. 9.04, resolution 2008-22 was adopted, commenting on meeting, 7:30 p.m. (CC Forsythia Room) Rights of Non-U.S. Citizens in Takoma Park. the “Green Area” Amendment to the County Zoning resolution 2008-11 was adopted, expressing con- Ordinance. tuesday, april 8 - Commission on Landlord Ten- dolences to the friends and family of the late Mont- ant Affairs hearing, 7 p.m. (CC Auditorium) gomery County Councilmember Marilyn Praisner. tuesday, april 8 - Tree Commission meeting, resolution 2008-12 was adopted, offering condo- March 10, 2008 - regular Meeting 6:30 p.m. (CC Atrium Room) lence and support for the City of Kirkwood, Missouri single reading ordinance 2008-11 was adopted tuesday, april 8 - Facade Advisory Board annual after a gunman stormed a Council meeting there. by roll-call vote, awarding a contract for community business meeting, 7 p.m. (CC Hydrangea Room) the consent agenda was adopted by roll-call health needs focus groups and survey. Wednesday, april 9 - Recreation Committee vote. It consisted of: meeting, 7:30 p.m. (CC Hydrangea Room) • single reading ordinance 2008-8, awarding *Only negative votes and abstentions are noted. thursday, april 10 - Board of Elections meeting, 7 a contract for purchase of two trucks for Public For additional information, contact the City Clerk at p.m. (CC Hydrangea Room) Works and rescinding Ordinance 2007-60 Clerk@takomagov.org. Monday, april 14 - City Council Meeting, 7:30 • resolution 2008-13, extending the term of the p.m. (CC Auditorium) Health Services Impact Committee for one addi- tional year. notice of coMMittee forMation tuesday, april 15 - Commission on Landlord Ten- ant Affairs hearing, 7 p.m. (CC Auditorium) • resolution 2008-14, appointing Sally Brucker to the Arts and Humanities Commission. Washington Adventist Hospital thursday, april 17 - Emergency Preparedness • resolution 2008-15, appointing Nicolien van Committee meeting, 8:30 a.m. (CC Hydrangea Schouwen to the Tree Commission. Land Use Committee Room) • resolution 2008-16, appointing Robert Ander- The City Council is establishing a committee to Monday, april 21 - City Council meeting, 7:30 son to the Ethics Commission. p.m. (CC Auditorium) advise the Council on matters related to the fu- • resolution 2008-17, appointing David Borden to ture use of the property currently occupied by tuesday, april 22 - Arts and Humanities the Public Safety Citizens Advisory Committee. Commission meeting, 7:30 p.m. (CC Hydrangea Washington Adventist Hospital. The Council Room) seeks individuals with diverse backgrounds and february 19, 2008 - special session interests to serve on the committee, including Wednesday, april 23 - Public Safety Citizens Advisory Committee meeting, 6:30 p.m. (CC persons familiar with land use planning, econom- resolution 2008-18 was adopted, urging Montgom- Atrium Room) ery County to reopen the Piney Branch Pool and fund ic development, or health services or persons necessary improvements. who live in areas that might be affected, directly Monday, april 28 - City Council meeting, 7:30 or indirectly, by development on the site. p.m. (CC Auditorium) february 25, 2008 - regular Meeting The committee is envisioned to be in existence *For the most up to date information, check www.takoma- for a two-year period. The committee would meet parkmd.gov. Most meetings are held in the Takoma Park second reading ordinance 2008-4 was adopted Community Center – Sam Abbott Citizens’ Center, 7500 by roll-call vote, establishing the Recreation Com- monthly or as needed. Maple Avenue (CC). Individuals interested in receiving mittee as a statutory committee. a weekly Council agenda and calendar update by e-mail To apply to serve on the committee, send your should contact the City Clerk at 301-891-7267 or clerk@ resolution 2008-19 was adopted, encouraging takomagov.org. Montgomery County to divest from Sudan. application by April 30, to Jessie Carpenter, City Clerk, City of Takoma Park, 7500 Maple the consent agenda was adopted by roll-call The City of Takoma Park is committed to ensuring that in- Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912 (or via e-mail dividuals with disabilities are able to fully participate in vote. It consisted of: to JessieC@takomagov.org ). public meetings. Anyone planning to attend a Takoma Park • single reading ordinance 2008-9, awarding a public meeting or public hearing, and who wishes to receive contract for an aerial lift boom and trailer. auxiliary aids, services, or accommodations is invited to Applications will be reviewed by the City Council. contact the City Clerk at 301-891-7267, at least 48 hours • single reading ordinance 2008-10, awarding a For additional information, call Jessie Carpenter in advance, at the telephone number listed in the notice contract for flood mitigation planning. at 301-891-7267. See www.takomaparkmd.gov or through the Maryland Relay Service (1-800-735-2258 • resolution 2008-20, appointing Stephane Janin for more information. TTY/Voice). to the Arts and Humanities Commission. speak with the Mayor volunteers needed speak up! to serve on council appointed boards, committees, and commissions Mayor Bruce Williams welcomes community input There are positions available on many City boards, commissions, and committees. Please consider and invites you to meet with volunteering to serve. Additional information can be found at www.takomaparkmd.gov or contact the him during his regular office City Clerk for more information (301-891-7267 or Clerk@takomagov.org). hours on Tuesdays, 2-5 p.m. (by appointment only) and Arts and Humanities Facade Advisory Board Personnel Appeal Board 5 -7 p.m. (for walk-ins), Commission in the third floor Council Health Services Impact Police Employees Retirement Conference Room of the Board of Elections Committee Plan Committee Takoma Park Community Committee on the Environment Montgomery College Neighbors Public Safety Citizens Advisory Center. Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee Committee Committee Noise Control Board Recreation Committee Walk-ins are requested to check in at the reception desk on the main floor. Ethics Commission Nuclear Free Takoma Park Safe Roadways Committee For appointments, contact Peggye Washington, Committee 301-891-7230 or email@example.com. Takoma Park Newsletter April 2008 Page 3 Reading with our Daughters Mother-Daughter Book Club Turns the Page, from “Sarah, Plain and Tall” to “Hell’s Angels” By Rosanne Singer N ida Vidutis sat on a stool in our dining room and implored the other teenage girls, “You’ve got to read ‘The Secret History’!” There were some groans when they heard it was more than 500 pages, but Nida, 16, said it read quickly. No decision was made, and we continued the Friday dinner meeting of our mother/daughter book group. Afterwards I kept remembering Nida’s eyes as she made a case for the book. This is what a passionate reader looks like, I thought. Maybe our group had a little something to do with fostering that. Takoma Park resident Janet Douglas thought about form- ing a mother/daughter book group ten years ago after meet- ing Smithsonian Institution colleague, Shireen Dodson, the author of “The Mother-Daughter Book Club: How Ten Busy Mothers and Daughters Came Together to Talk, Laugh and Learn Through Their Love of Reading.” At the time Janet’s daughter Rose was in third grade, and Janet began talking with other mothers whose daughters were strong, engaged readers. That’s when my daughter Marie and I joined. Thus began the first incarnation of our Takoma Park mother/daughter book group, a collection of about five mother/daughter pairs. Our first book was “Sarah, Plain and Tall,” by Patricia MacLachlan. Most of us had also seen the movie with Glenn Close and Christopher Walken. When the girls were in elementary school, we read standards like “Ella En- This group of mothers and daughters has met for the past seven years as a book club. Back row, from left, chanted,” “Misty of Chincoteague” and “Island of the Blue Sarah Lynch, Diana Vidutis, Nida Vidutis, Caitlin Schneiderhan, Claire Wernstedt-Lynch, Courtney Burtraw, Dolphins.” I remember the restlessness of some of those Rose Douglas, Janet Douglas; front row, Kate Cook, Rosanne Singer, Marie Mencher, and Barbara Glenn. early meetings—girls running around, eager to get to an art Photo by Diana Vidutis project connected with the chosen book. How do you en- courage eight-year-olds to talk about a book — articulate napped.” Jane Eyre offended them when she became in- sequence about the evening’s book. I loved those creative what they like, what confuses them, who they relate to? We volved with a married man, Mr. Rochester, never mind the projects and got to see my sometimes-shy daughter caught all had to learn. extenuating circumstance of a dangerously mad wife locked up in the theater of the moment. In the past year, how- The group was fluid in those days, with mothers and in the attic. “The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing ever, I think the daughters and mothers have spent more daughters trying it out. Some decided they couldn’t com- the Heart of Mr. Right” outraged all the girls. Who would time together during meetings, lingering at the dinner table mit to a monthly book and meeting, others moved out of want a relationship based on game playing and artifice? My to talk. the area. By the start of middle school though, we had a own daughter looked horrified when I said I wished I had Nida recently commented that all the mothers in the consistent group of six mothers and six daughters. Now employed a few of those rules myself. But the girls also book group are interested in what each girl is doing. I was the girls are seniors in high school, about to head off spent some eye-opening, thought-provoking time reading touched that she’d noticed. We’ve been gathering to talk to college. “The Kite Runner,” “The Good Earth,” and the graphic novel about books and have gotten to watch six girls become Even though four of the girls attend Montgomery Blair “Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood.” strong young women. High School, they may not see each other from day to day. Although we usually read novels, we have also discussed Nida did persuade us to read “The Secret History” by A fifth daughter has gone to school in Switzerland for ju- poetry—Pablo Neruda’s “Odes to Opposites”; gonzo jour- Donna Tartt. She was right—the girls loved this dark, trou- nior and senior year. Nida attends Stone Ridge School nalism—Hunter Thompson’s “Hell’s Angels”; and a play— bling novel about privileged college students on a New Eng- of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda. When the girls meet for “The Cherry Orchard.” The girls have been pretty game. land campus in the 1980s. One called it enthralling. “Hell’s our monthly to bimonthly gatherings, they have a lot to I’m glad that as they have matured, they’ve let us know what Angels” might have paved the way, but this time the sex, say to one another. Book group is our chance to catch up, they wanted and were ready for. I might have wanted to drugs, alcohol and even murder felt a little closer to home. reconnect. protect my daughter from the sex, drugs and profanity of Nida brought out a research paper she had written on the I think about some of the books that have angered, in- “Hell’s Angels,” but I found out I didn’t need to. tug between Dionysian abandon and Apollonian rational- spired, and bored the girls. They couldn’t plow through the The girls used to chomp at the bit to run off to a pri- ity in the book. The other girls really listened. So did the archaic language of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic, “Kid- vate space to chat before putting together a skit or video mothers. The Takoma Park NewsleTTer Ireland Comes to Takoma Park On March 11, a dozen professional community advocates from Ire- Editor: Virginia Myers land toured Takoma Park to learn about community dynamics in a di- Production: Electronic Ink verse city. Funded by the International Fund for Ireland (IFI), their visit www.takomaparkmd.gov was part of a program that involves annual tours to various cities in the Vol. 47, No. 4 U.S. This year’s trip focused on the relationship between government and community regarding youth, and in particular best practices ad- The Takoma Park Newsletter is published 11 times a year as the official publication of the City of Takoma Park, www.takomaparkmd.gov. dressing race relations, revitalization and collaboration. Takoma Park staff, accompanied by staff from Governor O’Malley’s office, showed The Newsletter does not accept commercial, classified, or political advertisements. the delegation programs at the Community Center, the County’s Cross- Unsolicited materials by Takoma Park residents, including reports by community groups and articles that may contain opinion, will be considered for publication. roads Youth Opportunities Center in the Takoma-Langley Crossroads Name, address and telephone number must accompany all submitted material. area, and revitalization plans for the New Hampshire Avenue corridor. Pursuant to City Council Resolution No. 1992–36 of June 8, 1992 that sets forth the They seemed impressed that nearly one-third of Takoma Park residents editorial guidelines of the Newsletter, the Editor reserves the right to edit all submitted was born outside of the United States. Members of the delegation en- copy for length, clarity, style, spelling and grammar. joyed talking to young people in the Teen Room and looking at the Published material containing opinions does not necessarily reflect the views of the Ethiopian Art Exhibit in the Community Center Atrium. Newsletter or the City of Takoma Park. “They were interested in local issues, such as Takoma Park’s status The City of Takoma Park is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate as a Sanctuary City, and asked a number of questions about the death on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin, sex, age, marital penalty in the United States,” said Deputy City Manager Suzanne Lud- status or physical or mental disabilities that are unrelated in nature and extent to job low. “The visit was much too short,” she added. “The delegates brought performance. The Newsletter is printed on recycled–content paper. a wealth of insight and knowledge from their home communities and I Photo by Lonni Moffet wish we’d had more time to learn from them.” Page 4 April 2008 Takoma Park Newsletter Housing Department Offers Free Courses The Commission on Landlord creases above the Rent Stabilization Don’t delay ... registration is limited for the fol- Tenant Affairs (COLTA) recently ap- Allowance. proved two hardship rent increase pe- lowing classes offered by the Department of Housing titions for rental properties in Takoma 8316 roanoke avenue and Community Development. If you are interested, Park. They appear in order of their (2007-59h) please call Linda Walker at 301-891-7222 or e-mail at petition numbers: On February 15, 2007, a hardship LindaW@takomagov.org rent increase petition was approved 8312 roanoke avenue for rent increases ranging from first time home Buyer seminar (2007-51h) $34.64 to $54.35 on all three units at COLTA’s (english) On February 18, 2007, a hardship the property. rent increase petition was denied be- Buying a home is one of the most important cause the adjusted petition year net If a rent increase exceeds 15 per- decisions you will make in your lifetime. Here is an opportunity for you to do it right, with all of the knowledge of the process. Class limited to 20 people. operating income (NOI) was greater than the adjusted base year net op- erating income (NOI). On a hard- ship petition, a landlord must show CORNER cent, the increases will be phased in over a term of more than one year until the full increases have been taken (e.g. 20 percent approved in- A nonprofit affordable housing organization will con- that the petition year NOI is lower crease would be divided as 15 per- duct the seminar that will include information on: than the adjusted base year (1990) By Jean Kerr, cent the first year and 5 percent the NOI in order to be granted rent in- Housing Specialist second year). 1. The importance of pre-purchase counseling 2. Establishing credit, maintaining good credit, facts about the credit scoring system 3. How to obtain a mortgage loan — understand- 4. ing the terms of the loan The role of the real estate agent Your Rights Under the Fair Housing Act 5. Information on Montgomery County and Mary- land home loan programs By Moses A. Wilds, Jr., Chapter 27 of the Montgomery County Code makes it il- Landlord-Tenant Coordinator legal to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing on the basis of race, sex, marital status, physical or mental dis- When: Saturday, April 12, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. April 2008 will mark the 40th anniversary of the pas- ability, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, presence Where: Takoma Park Community Center sage of the Fair Housing Act, adopted as Title VII of the of children, source of income, sexual orientation or age. 7500 Maple Avenue Civil Rights Act of 1968. The Fair Housing Act covers a One such fair housing complaint recently was addressed broad range of housing-related transactions such as rent- in November 2007, when the Montgomery County Fair español als, sales, mortgage lending, homeowners insurance, zon- ing, appraisals, tax assessments and advertising. It also Housing law was upheld in a decision issued by the Mary- land Court of Appeals. This ruling upheld a previous de- makes it illegal to coerce, intimidate, threaten or inter- seminario para Quien compra casa cision that an apartment complex landlord, Glenmont fere with someone exercising their fair housing rights and Hills Associates, was in violation of the County’s hous- por primera vez (español) provides for civil remedies and criminal penalties for do- ing discrimination ordinance when it refused to rent to El comprar una casa es una de las decisiones más ing so. applicants solely because they received rental assistance importantes que tomará en su vida. Esta es una In 1974 Congress added a prohibition of discrimina- through federal Section 8 vouchers. County Executive tion based on sex making it illegal for housing providers oportunidad para que usted lo haga correctamente Isiah Leggett commented that the “decision was gratify- to impose different conditions on women than on men. con toda la información del proceso. La Coorpo- The 1988 Fair Housing Amendment Act added two new ing for all who seek to protect the rights of residents to ración del Desarrollo Económico del Latino (LEDC), protected classes: handicap and familial status, the lat- find affordable housing.” una organización a beneficio para quienes quieren ter being the presence or anticipated presence of children comprara una casa por primera vez, dara un semi- under the age of 18 in a household. It also extended the Montgomery county’s nario el cual incluirá información como: statute of limitations for filing federal lawsuits from 180 fair housing complaint process days to two years and eliminated the prior $1,000 punitive Confidential complaints may be filed with the Mont- 1. La importancia de tener consejo profesional damages cap. gomery County Office of Human Rights by individu- antes de comprar una casa. Although a record number of fair housing complaints als who demonstrate they may have been discriminated (10,328) were received in FY2006 by HUD and Fair Hous- 2. Establecer su crédito, mantener su crédito y against in their housing choice or in receiving real estate ing Assistance Program agencies, there is general belief sistema de mantener record de su crédito. that the number of filed complaints remain well below the services. Complaints on behalf of victims of discrimina- 3. Cómo obtener un préstamo y entender los actual number of instances of housing discrimination. tion may also be filed by concerned individuals. términos del préstamo. HUD studies suggest a number of reasons for the The complaint filing process begins with a personal, 4. El papel del agente de ventas under-reporting of housing discrimination. First, dis- confidential interview which is held to determine the na- 5. Información acerca de los prógramas de crimination is not readily identifiable by consumers as it ture of the complaint and whether the Office of Human is rarely blatant. Second, many people believe that it is Rights (OHR) has legal jurisdiction to investigate. Media- préstamo en Maryland y el Condado de Mont- not worthwhile to report housing discrimination. A 2002 tion between OHR staff and both parties may occur at this gomery study showed that less than 20 percent of individuals who point and complaints may be settled and often are as a believed they had been discriminated against took some result of the mediation process. Fecha: Sábado, May 10, 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. action. Third, large segments of the public were not aware Complaints that are not resolved by mediation are fully Donde: Takoma Park Community Center of fair housing protections, especially for people with dis- investigated by OHR staff. When the investigation con- 7500 Maple Avenue abilities and families with children. firms that discrimination has occurred, the OHR propos- es a voluntary agreement to end the discrimination and foreclosure prevention Montgomery county fair housing provide relief for the complaining party. If the voluntary Are the costs for owning and maintaining your law/program agreement fails, a public hearing is required by law to resolve the complaint. If the public hearing results in a new home, whether it be a condominium or a single The Montgomery County Office of Human Rights is the certified government agency in the county that inves- finding of discrimination the OHR may order a plan to family house, escalating? Is your loan about to correct the discriminatory practice and order appropriate tigates fair housing complaints. The Fair Housing Pro- readjust? Here is a class to help you get a handle on relief for the complaining party. Relief may include hous- gram, which is a part of the Office of Human Rights, also your situation. Learn what state programs currently carries out an array of outreach and monitoring activities. ing, housing services and/or monetary compensation for exist and how to possibly avoid foreclosure. Its educational activities include training for landlords, expenses and/or humiliation. real estate professionals, property managers, lenders and Montgomery County residents who think they have When: Wednesday, May 14, 7 - 8:30 p.m. other housing professionals as well as information to and been the victim of housing discrimination should con- Where: Takoma Park Community Center training for the general public. The Fair Housing Program tact the Office of Human Rights, 110 North Washington 7500 Maple Avenue also has a comprehensive program of testing for discrimi- Street, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850. The OHR phone nation in the sale or rental of housing, home mortgage number is 240-777-8450 and the TTY phone number is financing and compliance with architectural guidelines. 240-777-8480. Takoma Park Newsletter April 2008 Page 5 Noted Economist and Environmentalist COLTA’s Delivers First Crossroads Lecture CORNER CAsEs L ester R. Brown, internationally-acclaimed economist and environmentalist, will deliver the first annual Crossroads Lecture in Takoma Park on April 16. All proceeds from ticket sales will help operate the Crossroads Farmers Market during the coming season. The lecture will By Moses A. Wilds, Jr., be held at the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church. Landlord-Tenant Coordinator Brown will discuss “Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civili- zation,” the latest version of his book outlining what must be landlord-tenant decision summary done to save the planet before it’s too late. “We are trapped cooke v. lee avenue apts, llc between a set of economic indicators telling us that things have never been better and a set of environmental indica- On February 8, 2008 COLTA issued a decision re- tors warning us that the economy is heading for decline and garding a tenant’s complaint alleging that the landlord collapse,” Brown said. “The warning signs are in rising tem- was responsible for a defective tenancy because her peratures, shrinking forests, expanding deserts, collapsing apartment was infested with bedbugs. Tenant sought a fisheries, falling water tables, melting glaciers, rising seas rent rebate and compensation for discarded furniture and declining species.” and medical treatment. Brown proposes an all-out effort to cut carbon emissions COLTA, in issuing a decision for the tenant, found 80 per cent by 2020. that (1) the landlord caused a defective tenancy by leas- He is the founder and president of the Earth Policy In- ing the tenant an apartment infested with bedbugs and stitute, a non-profit environmental research organization failed to make timely and good faith efforts to eradicate based in Washington, D.C. In 1974, he founded the World- the infestation; (2) the bedbug infestation made sleep- watch Institute, which he continued to head for 26 years. ing in the apartment physically and psychologically Brown has been called “one of the world’s most influen- traumatic and constituted a constructive eviction; (3) tial thinkers.” He has authored or co-authored more than 50 the bedbug infestation reduced the value of the tenancy books, which have appeared in some 40 languages. by at least 56 percent from the time the tenant moved The Crossroads Farmers Market opened last year as part in (June 1, 2007) until the time she vacated (Novem- of an effort to give residents of the Takoma-Langley area ber 30, 2007); (4) the landlord was responsible for the Lester Brown access to fresh, local fruit and vegetables. Together with the Photo: Courtesy Earth Policy Institute cost of replacing the tenant’s infested furniture based Takoma Park Farmers Market, it became the first farmers on the purchase receipts she provided; (5) the tenant market in Maryland authorized to accept Food Stamps. The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. Tickets to the was awarded a rent rebate of $3,150 based on a 56 per- Crossroads Farmers Market also established an innovative reception will cost $75. cent reduction of her monthly rent of $925 to $525 for micro-loan program to help immigrant, minority and new Tickets to the lecture are available on Sundays at the the six-month period June 1, 2007 to November 1, 2007 farmers participate in direct marketing. Takoma Park Farmers Market. Tickets may be reserved and $2,806.33 for replacing her furniture. Tickets to the Crossroads Lecture will cost $20 for adults by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling and $10 for students. A reception for Brown will be held at 540-631-5611. Credit and debit cards can be used at the 6:30 p.m. in the Assembly Room, before the lecture. The market and at the door. their own poems, read them to the group and receive feed- back to deepen and enlarge their own understanding of what they have written. The poems generated by the work- shop will be gathered into an anthology and published by the Arts and Humanities Commission. To register, please call 301-891-7224. The following events are brought public art presentations to you by the Takoma Park Arts tuesday, april 1 and Humanities Commission in Are you interested in learning more about partnership with the community. the 13 proposals submitted to the Arts and Humanities Commission in response to its kittner displays Call for Public Art? If so, please join the “block” buster art Commission on Tuesday, April 1 at 7:30 Artist Bobbi Kittner’s current p.m. in the auditorium when each of the show emerged from a love of artists will be given an opportunity to pres- banging wooden blocks togeth- ent their proposals to the community. Ad- er with her kids. Her mixed me- ditional opportunity to review each of the dia creations; “The Jester, “Big proposals is available online at www.tako- Star” and “Fluffy, the perform- maparkmd.gov. er,” composed of found objects and old Playskool blocks, can third thursday poetry be seen this month in Gallery reading april 17 Three, on the third floor of the The poetry of Kathy Richey, Kathy Wil- Takoma Park Community Cen- liams and Hayes Davis will be featured at ter. Kittner’s studio is located in this month’s “third thursday” poetry read- Old Town Takoma. ing. The reading will be held on Thursday, April 17 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at the "Solitude" by Cheryl Edwards poetry for families Takoma Park Community Center. Workshop to look at humans other than on the simple physical level. april 12 "Whistle Boy" by Bobbi Kittner “the human concept” The exhibit will be on display throughout the month of Anne Becker, Takoma Park opening reception april 5 April. Poet Laureate, will offer a series Please join us at the Takoma Park Community Center of free poetry workshops for families — parents and their on Saturday, April 5, at 2 p.m. as we celebrate “The Human children — beginning on Saturday, April 12 and continu- Concept,” an exhibit of the work of local artists Cheryl Ed- Additional information on these and other upcoming events ing on April 26 and on May 3. The workshops will be held wards and Susan Crane. The exhibit demonstrates the in- can be found on the City’s website at www.takomaparkmd. in the Hydrangea Room at the Takoma Park Community ner parts of human beings through color and light and gov or by contacting the Arts and Humanities Commission Center from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Participants will write shadow, which the artists hope will encourage the viewer at 301-891-7224 or by email at email@example.com. Page 6 April 2008 Takoma Park Newsletter R E C R E A T I O N APRIL Ac t i v i t i e s recreation depar tMent 301-891-7290 family rock climbing carderock national recreation area ages 8 and older Bring the family for this awesome day on the rocks. Rock climbing is a great way to explore the natural world, push your limits and have fun. No experience is necessary; this trip will be catered to beginners. All equipment, transportation and guides are included. Wear comfy clothes and bring a bag lunch. All children under 12 require a chaperone. Please contact Jon McLaren at 301-891-7225 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. When: Sun., April 6 time: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. location: Meet at T.P. Com. Ctr., 7500 Maple Ave. Comparing goodies after the annual egg hunt which attracted hundreds of people this year. fee: T.P. City Res. $40 (up to 4 people); Photo: Debra Haiduven $15 each extra Non-Res. $45 (up to 4 people); Takoma Park residents to qualify for the resident $20 each extra fee. Registration closes Friday, April 11. Individuals rock climbing at Great falls national park interested in joining a team should call the y.e.s league / t-Ball league Recreation Department to be put on a list for teams ages 12 and older Rock climbing is a great way to explore the natural that need extra players. volunteers needed! world, push your limits and have fun. No experience When: Sun., April 20 - June 22 is necessary; this trip will be catered to begin- The Recreation Department is look time: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. ing for ners. All equipment, transportation and guides are coaches and volunteers for the Y.E. location: Ed Wilhelm, Lee Jordan, and Green S Youth included. Wear comfy clothes and bring a bag lunch. Basketball League, and the Youth Meadows Fields T-Ball Please contact Jon McLaren at 301-891-7225 or League. fee: T. P. City Res. Team $475 email@example.com for more information. Instruc- Non Res. Team $575 tor Jon McLaren. If you are interested and would like REGISTER BY APRIL 11 to hear more about these opportunities, When: Sun., April 13 please con- Girls lacrosse clinic tact Matt Poorman by phone 301 time: 8 a.m - 6 p.m. -891-7282, Grades 3 - 6 or by e-mail at MattP@takomagov.o location: Meet at T.P. Com. Ctr., 7500 Maple Ave. rg. When: Wed. April 23 - May 21 fee: T.P. City Res. $40 time: 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Non-Res. $45 location: Hodges Field (behind Takoma Park Elementary School) adult coed softball league for teens to socialize outside of school. fee: T.P. City Res. $20 Recreational fun for adults. Team registration date: Fri., April 4 Non-Res. $25 only, rosters must consist of at least 50 percent activity: Ice cream social “first annual” adult tennis tournament date: Fri., April 18 Men/Women Ages 18 and older activity: Game Room Tournaments When: April 26 - April 27 time: 6 - 9 p.m. Fun Days May 3 - May 4 location: T Zone - T.P. Com. Ctr., time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. fee: Free location: Takoma Park Middle School Tennis Courts roadtripz fee: T.P. City Res. $5 ages 13 - 18 Grades k - 5 Non-Res. $10 “Roadtripz” takes teens on adult-supervised trips to REGISTER BY APRIL 23 local destinations. field trips The Fun Day Program offers exciting ings and on scheduled whole day school clos Musicalitea silver foxes trip date: Fri., April 11 eduled half activities and per formances on sch Musical performance with complimentary tea and activity: Movie Night Out subject to day closings. Bring a lunch! Trip is light fare. Trip requires advance registration. Please time: 6 - 9 p.m. change. Space is limited, sign up early. Meet Transportation provided from T Zone at the Takoma Commu- come to the Community Center and fill out a regis- in the auditorium of the Takoma Park tration form by R.S.V.P. date. Limited space avail- Park Community Center and from the Takoma Park nity Center. able. Recreation Center on New Hampshire Avenue fee: Varies by trip trip: Mt. Vernon - George REGISTER BY APRIL 19 When: Thurs., April 10 Washington’s House time: 10 a.m. When: Mon. April 7 teen school daze out location: Music Center at Strathmore, time: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. ages 12 - 16 $20 Bethesda, MD fee: T.P. City Res. School Daze Out offers exciting and educational $25 fee: Free Non-Res. field trips on scheduled whole day school closings. rsvp: 4/3/08 after care from 5 - 6:30 p.m. tGif date: Mon., April 7 T.P. City Res. $10 ages 13 - 18 activity: Shopping in Hagerstown Non-Res. $15 Takoma Park Recreation invites teens to participate time: 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. in “TGIF,” a series of safe, fun Friday night events REGISTER BY APRIL 4 Takoma Park Newsletter April 2008 Page 7 earth day continued from page 1 takoma park Community Center) Tree giveaway, information Sidewalk sale, face painting, a juggler, balloon sculptures, borrow one that will be made available. The co-op will also earth day events tables, kids’ activities, pruning and Greg’s Summer Delights ice offer food, children’s activities (including a moon bounce), demonstrations and lessons cream truck planting demonstrations and tables with Old Town mer- home energy audit Open house at Bikram yoga chants interspersed with community and environmental presentation Main street takoma spring studio and the Pajama Squid information. clean-up children’s store April 23, 7 to 9 p.m. Across the street on the same day, April 20, city merchants Community Center auditorium Saturday, April 19, 9 a.m. to are celebrating at Takoma Junction Day from noon to 4 p.m. Sponsored by the Sierra Club noon sweep the creek with face painting, a juggler, balloon sculptures, and Greg’s Presentation, with Q&A, on home Locations throughout Old Town Saturday, April 26, 9-11 a.m. Summer Delights ice cream truck. Stores will display their energy audits. E-mail david. www.mainstreetakoma.org for Creek Cleanup wares on the sidewalk and residents can welcome the new firstname.lastname@example.org more information Various locations along Sligo Bikram yoga studio, and The Pajama Squid children’s store, for more information. Creek (Sponsored by Friends of that opened last month. earth day celebration Sligo Creek) visit www.fosc.org On Wednesday, April 23, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Com- Weed discussion at the co-op for more information munity Center auditorium, the Montgomery County Sierra Wednesday, April 16, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 20, 10 a.m. to 7 Club will present an information session on home energy Green home and Garden tour Community Center Azalea Room p.m. audits. A question and answer period will allow residents to Betty Marose, University of Mary- Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-op, May 18, Noon to 3 p.m. ask professional auditors about how they might reduce home energy use, and whether an audit will help them save money land on integrative management at 410 and Carroll Avenue Various locations, Takoma Park and reduce their carbon footprint. of invasive weeds Live music, food, kids’ activities, Tour homes that showcase sus- To celebrate nature out-of-doors, you can grab a trash bag merchants, and community and tainable building practices Saturday, April 26 and join Friends of Sligo Creek (FOSC) to arbor day environmental info tables Sponsored by the Takoma Park clean up the creek. Sweep the Creek invites organized groups April 19, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Green Building Group. See like scout, civic and religious groups as well as individuals to Takoma Park, Maryland Library Junction day saveoursky.com/hoursetour08. join in from 9 to 11 a.m. at various locations. There are also lawn (rain location, Takoma Park Sunday, April 20, Noon to 4 p.m. aspx for more information. some Sunday alternatives and, if you know of a section that is not listed in those already targeted for cleanup, you can in- clude it by contacting Wendi Schnaufer (wschnaufer3703@ comcast.net). For locations or more information, see www. fosc.org. To see what other folks have done to their homes to make them more energy efficient, you can check out a Green Homes and Garden Tour, sponsored by the Takoma Park Green Building Group. The Sunday, May 18 event runs from noon until 3 p.m., and involves a number of local residences that incorporate sustainable building practices like green- minded insulation (different types, and different methods), energy-efficient appliances, efficient heating and cooling sys- tems, efficient lighting, energy-saving windows, passive and active solar design, alternative energy sources like biodiesel and corn stoves, and sustainable materials like reclaimed, re- cycled and non-toxic wood, countertops, paints, and more. Men in Trees Trim TP: Keeping the Canopy Healthy Make a difference Have you seen men in trees around Takoma Park lately? That’s because the City is nurturing its tree canopy by plant a tree pruning dead wood and diseased areas. Discount Trees Available to Beautify Yards, Save the Canopy The methodical tree trimming program, reinstituted recently by City Arborist Todd Bolton, now utilizes two The season is right to plant trees, and in Ta- ery, the City is making a number of species avail- companies to carry out a five or six-year rotation for koma Park that means you could be saving the able at wholesale prices. Residents can purchase maintenance pruning on all street and park, public, trees aging tree canopy in the City. If you’re interested black gum, sweet gum, scarlet oak, red maple, in the City. in replacing old growth in your yard, or adding to white oak or sycamore — all native shade trees “These trees we are celebrating this Arbor Day need greenery outside your door, you can save through that usually retail for about $400 – for $240 to care to stay healthy and grow straight and strong,” says the City’s bulk buy tree sale. $295, installed. Sale dates run through May 2, Bolton. He adds that he is grateful to the City Council for Acting as a purchasing agent with Stadler Nurs- with installation toward the end of the month. increasing his budget and making available the resources necessary to keep the canopy healthy. During the second year of the pruning rotation, Bol- order forM ton expects that significantly less work will be required, include map of property with tree so that each year the number of trees that can be pruned Please include check written to City of Takoma locations on separate piece of paper. will increase. According to the Davey Resource Group Park and be sure to draw a map of the prop- Tree Management Plan, developed along with a street erty and locations for installation. Submit to tree inventory in 2001, a maintenance pruning cycle, Todd Bolton, Takoma Park Department of Public over time, helps create a healthy urban forest and reduces species price Quantity total Works, 31 Oswego Avenue, Silver Spring, MD, the number of removals required annually. 20910 by close of business May 2. Someone Pruning work has included dead wooding, crown Sweet Gum (2") $275 x ______= ______ will be in touch regarding installation dates. cleaning, crown reduction, and hazard removals. There Black Gum (1.5") $250 x ______= ______ have also been several trees found to be in such poor Scarlet Oak (2") $300 x ______= ______ shape that they were removed rather than pruned. Bol- Name __________________________________ Red Maple (2") $240 x ______= ______ ton hopes to replant some of the areas where trees were White Oak (2") $295 x ______= ______ removed, or where diseased trees are scheduled for re- Address ________________________________ Sycamore or moval. London Plane (2") $270 x ______= ______ To learn more about pruning your own trees, you Tax 5% ______ Daytime Phone __________________________ can attend Arbor Day festivities on the lawn of the Library, April 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. See related total enclosed $______ article, page 1. Page 8 April 2008 Takoma Park Newsletter Analyst Increases Crime Prevention and Control W ouldn’t it be great to be able to know when and where the next crime will occur? Kyleen Luy thinks so, and so does the Takoma Park Police Department. Luy, hired just this year as the first crime analyst in the Takoma Park Police De- partment, is already on her way to making such speed Cameras Coming Police predictions with precise methods and analyses. Crime analysis can to Takoma Park BEAT serve law enforcement agencies in many ways, I but it primarily addresses n an effort to slow speeding traffic on two of Tako- crime prevention and con- ma Park’s busiest streets, the City Council voted trol, apprehension and the March 3 to go forward with the installation of two By Catherine Plevy recovery of stolen prop- speed cameras, one in the 7400 block of New Hamp- erty. The crime analyst’s shire Avenue and the other in the 500 block of Ethan job is to establish a set of Kyleen Luy Allen Avenue. systematic, analytic processes that ferret out crime pat- These two locations were chosen after traffic sur- terns and trends. This information then serves police of- Luy, a civilian employee of the department, has a BA veys of 13 Takoma Park locations showed them to ficers and staff as they work through the investigative pro- in criminal justice from Lycoming College in William- be the spots where speeding most frequently oc- cess, and hopefully helps them apprehend criminals and sport, Pa., where she also worked in the county public curs. Cameras will be placed in both directions clear cases. defender’s office; she is also working on her M.S. from on each roadway, where the speed limit is 25 miles As the first crime analyst for Takoma Park, Luy dedi- Michigan State University, and has certificates in home- per hour. In Montgomery County, according to Ta- cates the majority of her time to collecting, analyzing and land security and law enforcement intelligence analysis. koma Park Police Department Public Information disseminating information concerning crime patterns To improve her skills, Luy recently attended a Crime Officer Catherine Plevy, speed cameras are usually and trends. The idea is to implement a proactive, rather Analysis Applications training conducted by the Alpha set to “catch” drivers who go 11 miles per hour or than reactive approach to crime. To that end, Luy gen- Group Center for Crime and Intelligence Analysis, which more over the speed limit; Takoma Park has not erates community and in-house summaries each week, instructs the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Royal Ca- yet determined at what speed the new cameras documenting crime and arrests throughout Takoma Park. nadian Mounted Police, California Department of Justice, will activate. In addition, she composes community advisories, which and state and local law enforcement agencies throughout Tickets for speeding will be set at $40, says Plevy; identify particular crime patterns or illegal activity to in- the United States and Canada. The course covered opera- that money is expected to pay for the cameras crease citizen awareness. tional and statistical processes involved in designing and (though $16.25 of it goes to ACS). The program was Generally, analysts focus efforts on those offenses that maintaining a successful crime analysis program. The made more accessible through a piggyback arrange- occur in large numbers with discernible patterns and most beneficial tactic Luy learned at the training, she says, ment with the county, she adds. Gaithersburg, Rock- trends. In Takoma Park these include both robberies was how to identify a crime series (a crime pattern where ville, Chevy Chase Village and Takoma Park are all and residential burglaries. Last month, for example, Luy there is reason to believe the same person or persons com- part of the contract already in place between Mont- tracked citizen robberies in Takoma Park and bordering mitted the crimes). She also picked up information about gomery County and ACS State and Local Solutions, Prince George’s County, and was able to link at least eight methods used to forecast future criminal occurrences. so the municipalities needn’t spend time and money different robberies in the two districts to two suspects. Because Takoma Park is affected by nearby county and putting out bids. Plus, under this same contract, the As a result, detectives were able to close several cases and city borders, Luy maintains routine contact with neigh- cameras throughout the area will be uniform. provide the State’s Attorney General with valuable infor- boring jurisdictions and receives important information The cameras already operating throughout the mation. In December, she tracked a string of burglaries from their analysts, investigators and patrol officers. This county have reduced speeding by 10 percent, accord- in the Woodland and Sycamore neighborhood, which re- cross-jurisdictional work is a great help in identifying sus- ing to ACS statistics. If they prove successful in Ta- sulted in increased patrol and awareness and, ultimately, a pects, linking crimes and ultimately solving and prevent- koma Park, Council will consider installing more. citizen report of a burglary in progress. ing criminal activity in the city. As of Feb. 29, the Takoma Park Volun- door or doorknob. If you feel heat, use kids corner teer Fire Department and the personnel of your second exit; if you don’t, open the the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue door slowly. If you see thick smoke or When It Comes To Safety…Are You Just Service assigned to the Takoma Park station flames, shut the door. Use another exit. As Smart As Your Big Brother or Sister? have responded to 93 fire-related incidents. * If you are trapped, stuff clothing under the The department handled or assisted with door. Telephone the fire department (9-1-1) to • I always cross the street at a mark cross 488 rescue or ambulance-related incidents tell them your location. Wait at a window and walk or corner. for a total of 581 this year. Totals for 2007 signal with a flashlight or light-colored cloth. • I always look both ways before crossing were 154 and 443, respectively, for a total of * Remember: Once out of a burn- the street. 597, representing a decrease of 16 incidents. ing building, NEVER go back • I always wear my seat belt when riding into the building for any reason. in a car. • I always wear a helmet when I ride my another serious fire hits Your defense against fire…working smoke bicycle. takoma park alarms on all levels of your home and a fire escape plan for the entire family. • I always wear safety pads and a helmet On Friday, March 14 at 8 p.m., a fire oc- when riding my skateboard. curred at 601 Hudson Avenue. The fire did • I never go swimming unless there’s an approximately $50,000 in damage to one of starting date change for adult or life guard is present. the apartment units. No injuries. The cause: cooking left unattended. As I have reported Firehouse Baby sitters class The Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Depart- • I never touch matches or lighters. If I find them, I’ll tell a grown up. REPORT many times, COOKING is still the number ment Baby Sitters Class, will start on Mon- • I never play in the street. one cause of home fires. It’s a must…when day, April 14. The sessions will be held for • I always wear a life jacket when riding you leave the kitchen with something cook- six Monday nights, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the in a boat. ing on the stove, you must turn the stove Takoma Park Community Center. Contact • I never play in, under, or around ve- off. That’s with any type of cooking. By Jim Jarboe the City Recreation Department to regis- hicles. safe escape tips ter. Ages: girls and boys 11-13 years old. • I never talk to strangers or get into your head 12-24 inches above the floor. Topics to be covered: fire safety, infant and their car. * About 75 percent of house fire deaths It’s a fact, if you do all of the above … you * It takes 10-15 minutes to burn through child care, personal safety, CPR and first aid. are caused by smoke, not by flames. are as smart and you will be a lot safer. a wooden door. Sleep with doors shut. Special note: Minimum number to have the You must crawl under smoke, with * Use the back of your hand to touch the class is 12. Takoma Park Newsletter April 2008 Page 9 Chief Ricucci Marks First Year in Takoma Park By Virginia Myers I t’s been a year since the Takoma Park Police Depart- ment welcomed Ronald Ricucci as its new chief, and already he has made a difference. “I think we’re more responsive to the community and I think the community has regained confidence in the department and its lead- ership,” says Ricucci. Indeed, residents and City Council members have praised the new attitude at the department. Ricucci says the big difference is that he’s held officers and civilian workers accountable for their work in a way that has shifted the department to the good. Ricucci insists officers “walk, talk and smile,” so they be- come more a part of the community. Residents are more aware of crime, and police activity designed to deter it, thanks to frequent email dispatches from a new public in- formation officer who also keeps information flowing out to the media. The communications division has a supervisor now, as well as all new modern equipment. There’s a new crime analyst, a new evidence clerk and the bike patrol has been reactivated. Cross-jurisdictional relationships with Ricucci’s former department, Montgomery County Police – especially the Silver Spring district – as well as the fourth district in D.C., and the first district, Hyattsville, in Prince George’s County have helped coordinate crime prevention and detective work that crosses county and city lines. The Chief Ronald Ricucci has made accountability the buzz word among his staff and officers, and he believes force has a full complement of officers for the first time in that has made a significant improvement in overall service from the Police Department. Here he addresses ten years, and includes a plainclothes unit, or “tactical unit” an administrative staff meeting. Photo by Catherine Plevy that has “made a major impact on crime,” says Ricucci. Per- haps most significant, the crime rate is down for the first his own departmental budget – that would fund Safe Ta- six months of 2007, compared to the first months of 2006. koma, a citizen group that works on safety issues around These are just the accomplishments that are fairly com- the Metro station area. He told City Council he would pre- mon knowledge. Those working in the department also fer to hire a community specialist within his department appreciate the new computers installed in the police cruis- – someone who would report to him – and have the person ers, and the upgrade in firearms – officers now carry M-16 cover more territory than just the Metro. City Council dis- rifles in their cars. They are also equipped with tasers. agreed, and if Ricucci wants such an employee, he’ll have It’s a long list of improvements, but Ricucci has more in to request additional funds in his FY09 budget (to be pre- mind. He has frequently spoken of a citizens’ academy that sented in May to City Council). He notes that he works well would expose residents to police work through informa- with Safe Takoma, but wants to address crime throughout tional meetings and even ride-alongs, effectively training the city rather than in one area. them in crime prevention. A youth academy would work in a similar way, and keep young people on the right side of These are relatively small blips in the Chief ’s short career the law. He has begun to revitalize the citizens’ patrol – the in the City. Most important, he says, is a change in atti- orange vest-wearing groups of residents who patrol their that the City suspend its sanctuary law, which prohibits of- tude among those who think seriously about police work own neighborhood streets, coordinating with police offi- ficers from researching resident status on immigrants they in Takoma Park. “I’ve seen a change in attitude both with cers who are available when they call in suspicious behav- encounter during their work, was refused. Ricucci reasoned citizens and with the officers,” he says. “I think we’re com- ior and potential criminal elements. “I think we’re headed that the information about immigrants in this country il- ing together. I think we may have been diametrically op- in the right direction but there’s still a lot of work to be legally could help officers find those who had committed posed when I got here [but] and I see us coming together as done,” says Ricucci. crimes, but City Council disagreed. a community police department. That’s what community And it hasn’t been all roses for the new Chief. His request Similarly, Ricucci opposed a $25,000 expenditure – from policing is.” safe Kids Week Kicks Off Kick off Safe Kids Week with “Gear Up For Safety,” a Community Health and Safety Fair in Takoma Park on Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Community Center, 7500 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park. Families can participate in fun and games to learn about bike and pedestrian safety, police, fire and rescue services, car seat safety, and much, much more. LEAVE THE LIGHT ON There will be product displays and special ac- tivities for kids ages 10 to 14. The event is Leaving your porch or garage light on is one of the most effective things you can do to sponsored by the Montgomery County Safe prevent a break-in. Police recommend keeping the light on all night to turn crime away Kids Coalition and Takoma Park Safe Routes to School. from your doorstep. For more information, contact lucyn@takoma- For more information on home safety, or for a free home safety audit gov.org. call 301-270-1100 Page 10 April 2008 Takoma Park Newsletter Book Clubs Come in All Ages By Karen MacPherson Most keep membership small (6-8 group, composed of 4th grade boys, members) as a way to make sure ev- has been written up in The Washington LIBRARY Briefs T here are plenty of people inter- eryone has a chance to participate. And Post’s KidsPost. ested in reading – and, as it turns many clubs include food as a way to fuel “We do try to empower the boys,” out, plenty of parents and kids the discussion. Dabir says. “They definitely pick the interested in forming clubs to read to- “Food definitely helps,” said Nida book – that makes a difference. And it’s not too late for favorite poems gether. As some 30 people learned at a Vidutis. it’s morphed over time from being very There is still plenty of time to choose a poem to read recent library gathering, there are all Nida and her mom, Diana Vidutis, structured to … a more free-flowing at this year’s Favorite Poem Evening, scheduled for kinds of ways to create a parent-child have been part of a mother-daughter discussion.” The group also has gone on Thursday April 24 7:30 p.m. in the Library. book club that works. book group for nine years. The club book-related field trips and even done Sponsored jointly by the Library and the Friends of Those gathered included representa- began when the girls were in the third some cooking together. the Library, these annual events are modeled after the tives of six different local parent-child grade; they’re heading to college next In the book club of which Laura public readings begun by national Poet Laureate Rob- book clubs, whose kid members – both year (see related story, page 3). DiCurcio and her 4th grade daughter ert Pinsky. Pinsky believed that poetry has meaning boys and girls — range in age from 6 to Patti Mallin and her daughter Cam- Eva are members, the moms make the for virtually everyone at some point in their life, and 18. Most of the groups meet monthly, den Roberts hope their book club will book selections, and the format is fairly his poetry evenings held around the country typically with members taking turns hosting at last that long. Created just a few months structured. “Whoever is hosting writes brought together people of all ages and all walks of life their homes. ago, their book club is composed of enough questions for each girl,” DiCur- who came together to share their choices. In some of the book clubs, the par- moms and girls mostly in first grade. cio said. “It does generally keep the con- Those who wish to participate in this year’s event ents choose the books to read. In others, The girls typically do a craft related to versation going.” should choose a poem by a published poet, and send it’s a rule that kids make the selections. their book – recently, they decorated a Annemarie Stroud’s group does the title and author together with their name and ge- Some clubs are structured, and the notebook that they can use to write or things a bit differently. Composed of neric occupation to Ellen Robbins at the Takoma Park members have specific questions they draw about the book under discussion. boy and girl homeschoolers ranging Maryland Library, or by e-mail to ellenr@takomagov. answer to keep the discussion flowing. And there’s one other vital ingredient: in age from 6-12, the group focuses on org . The deadline for all submissions is Friday April Others are more free-wheeling and let “We always allow time for the girls to books, such as “Mary Poppins” by Mary 18 the discussion range where it will. One play,” Mallin said. Travers, that have been made into mov- Readers are encouraged to bring friends and family group connects the book selection with Time for play also is built into two ies. The group, now in its third month, to this tenth annual public celebration of poems, with a craft. Another compares a book to its book clubs composed of moms and reads the book and then gathers to refreshments provided by the Friends of the Library. movie version. sons. One of the book clubs was started watch the movie. This year’s event will be hosted by Takoma Park’s Poet Still, there are a few similarities two years ago by Surabhi Dabir as a way “It’s amazing how they embrace the Laureate Anne Becker. among these parent-child book clubs. to encourage her son, Arjun Blum. The book and not the film,” Stroud said. reading Group to discuss Graham swift The Friends of the Library Reading Group will meet on Wednesday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Takoma library resources for parent-child Park Community Center for a discussion of “Last Or- Book clubs ders” by Graham Swift. • “The Mother-Daughter Book Club” by Shireen Dodson Winner of the Booker Prize in 1996, this widely ac- • “The Kids Book Club Book” by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp claimed novel tells the story of “four men – friends, • “Reading Raps” by Rita Soltan. most of them, for half a lifetime” —[who] gather in a • “100 Best Books for Children” by Anita Silvey London pub. They have taken it upon themselves to • “500 Great Books for Teens” by Anita Silvey carry out the last orders of Jack Dodds, master butcher, • “The Essential Guide to Children’s Books and Their Creators” by Anita Silvey and deliver his ashes to the sea. As they drive towards • “Book Crush” by Nancy Pearl the fulfillment of their mission, their errand becomes • “Great Books for Girls” by Kathleen Odean an extraordinary journey into their collective and in- • “Great Books for Boys” by Kathleen Odean dividual pasts.” The “Washington Post Book World” called this nov- • “The New York Times Parents’ Guide to the Best Books for Children” by Eden el “resonant, distinct, irresistible…both convincing Ross Lipson and extraordinarily intimate…” and “The New York • “Best Books for Kids Who (Think They) Hate to Read” by Laura Backes Review of Books” praised Swift’s writing: “Swift has Participants at our March Parent-Child Book Club event provided lists of the involved us in real, lived lives…Quietly, but with con- books they read. Copies are available on the librarian’s desk in the Children’s Room, as well as on our Children’s Room blog, which can be accessed off the library’s main liBrary Briefs continues on page 11 web page (www.cityoftakomapark.org/library). highlighting multicultural storytelling. 7:30 p.m. in the Library Takoma Park Library drop everything and read (d.e.a.r.) Diane Macklin will tell stories, and Come read a favorite poem and listen CALENDAR Friday, April 11 4 p.m. at the Library we'll follow with more stories, songs and crafts. Please register by calling to others do the same. (See story for more information). Celebrate (a day early) the birthday of 301-891-7259 or by emailing library- APRIL 2008 "Ramona" creator Beverly Cleary. We'll email@example.com (put "dia" in t(w)een Book club neighborhood circle time listen to audio versions of Cleary's the subject line, please). Sponsored by books while creating bookmarks. the Friends of the Takoma Park Mary- Friday, April 25 Every Tuesday land Library 4:40-5:30, Rose Room at the Commu- Two times: 10 a.m. OR 11 a.m. at the Bedtime story time nity Center Library. spring dreams — poetry fun! Monday, April 14 Come eat pizza and discuss "Storm- lapsit program for babies through 7 p.m. at the Library Monday, April 21 at the Library breaker," the first volume in the series 12 months of age Bring your teddy bears (or other stuffed 7 p.m. by Anthony Horowitz, starring Alex favorites). Pajamas, pillows and blan- Join local poets Rosanne Singer and Rider, teenage spy. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. at the Library. kets are welcome. Liz Rees in creating poems about Space is limited, so you must register. Note: This program is for middle- Note: This program is aimed at babies, spring things. Call 301-891-7259 or email library- schoolers only. You must register, and toddlers and preschoolers and their Please register by calling firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please put grown-ups. you must read the book before the pro- 301-891-7259 or emailing library-pro- lapsit in the subject line). email@example.com (put "spring" in gram. Copies of the book are available dia de los ninos/dia de los libros the subject line, please). Sponsored by for check-out at the front desk. Regis- spanish circle time Multicultural storytelling the Friends of the Takoma Park Mary- ter by calling 301-891-7259 or email- Every Thursday celebration land Library ing firstname.lastname@example.org (put 10 a.m. at the Library Saturday, April 19 "t(w)een" in the subject line, please). Sponsored by the Friends of the 10:30 a.m.- Noon at the Library favorite poem evening Sponsored by the Friends of the Ta- Takoma Park Maryland Library Come celebrate Dia — a national event Thursday, April 24 koma Park Maryland Library. Takoma Park Newsletter April 2008 Page 11 tweens club news liBrary Briefs spring dreams — poetry for kids Our T(w)een Book Club will meet on Friday, April 25 continued from page 10 Spring has sprung and we’re going to celebrate by work- from 4:30-5:30 in the Community Center's Rose Room to ing with young poets to create poems of “spring dreams” on discuss "Stormbreaker" by Anthony Horowitz. This novel viction, he seeks to affirm the values of decency, loyalty, love. Monday, April 21 at 7 p.m. in the Library. Our program will is the first in the popular series starring teenage spy Alex He is as John Dewey beautifully said of Emerson, ‘the sage of be led by local poets Rosanne Singer and Liz Rees, who will Rider. After we discuss the book, we'll have pizza and soda. ordinary days.’ ” help kids create poems written from the point of view of The club is for middle-schoolers only and is limited to 12 Copies of the book are available at the Takoma Park Library spring things, such as flowers, rain, rabbits, bees, etc. We’ll participants, who must read the book before the April 25 and are provided by the Friends of the Library. The Friends also have art materials so young poets can create the shape meeting. Thanks to the Friends of the Takoma Park Mary- Reading group discussions are open to all. of their spring thing after they write their poems. land Library, we'll have multiple copies of the book available “Spring Dreams” is sponsored by the Friends of the Ta- for check-out at the Library's main desk. To register, please celebrate dia! koma Park Maryland Library. The program is best for chil- call 301-891-7259 or email library-programs@spambob. dren ages 5 and up. To register, call 301-891-7259 or email net (put "tween" in the subject line, please). Come join us at the library on Saturday, April 19 as we email@example.com (please put “spring” in the celebrate our second annual "El dia de los Ninos/El dia de subject line). Books for twosies los Libros" — a morning of multicultural storytelling, songs and crafts. Our popular "Twosies" program, for two-year-olds and d.e.a.r. day with ramona their grown-ups, will take place on four Wednesday morn- This event, which is sponsored by the Friends of the Ta- koma Park Maryland Library, is part of a nationwide "El April 12 is the birthday of Beverly Cleary, author of the ings in May from 10-10:30. We focus on a different theme dia de los Ninos/El dia de los Libros" celebration. Created "Ramona" and "Henry Huggins" books, among many oth- each week, as we read stories, sing songs and finish with a by the American Library Association, "Dia" is designed to ers. To celebrate the birthday of this American treasure, li- simple craft. Come join us! To register, call 301-891-7259 emphasize "the importance of advocating literacy for every braries and bookstores are hosting the second annual "Drop or email firstname.lastname@example.org (please put "two- child regardless of linguistic and cultural background." Everything and Read" (D.E.A.R.) day. sies" in the subject line). So come and celebrate Takoma Park's rich multicultural At the Takoma Park Maryland Library, we'll celebrate tradition! Acclaimed storyteller Diane Macklin will kick off D.E.A.R. one day early. On Friday, April 11, we'll gather in p.J.s Welcome our event at 10:30 a.m. We'll follow with more stories and the Children's Room at 4 p.m. and listen to audio versions of some of Cleary's books while we create bookmarks. Wear your p.j.s, bring your teddy bear or other stuffed songs and end with a craft. We'll also have brochures with favorite and head to the library for "Bedtime Stories" on reading tips as well as suggestions for great multicultural All are welcome. No need to register — just come and have some listening fun! Monday, April 14 at 7 p.m. We'll sing a few songs, do some children's books. Register by calling 301-891-7259 or by rhymes and fingerplays and read some stories. No need to emailing email@example.com (put "dia" in the register — just come! subject line, please). City TV Features Taste of Takoma Park City TV-13 CITY TV PROGRAMMING sCHEDULE - MARCH 2008 Programming Schedule Takoma and Energy Star April 2008 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Join City TV on April Community The Road to Takoma Park Community Takoma Community Déjà vu: 13 as it covers the day long 7:00 AM Recovery Bulletin Board Snapshots Bulletin Board Takoma Music Bulletin Board City TV Local Revisited festival, “Taste of Takoma” 8:00 AM Takoma Park PreSchool Events Takoma Park Community Takoma Park on Sunday, April 13 on Snapshots Power! Snapshots Bulletin Board Folk Festival the campus of Columbia Union College. City TV 9:00 AM Takoma Park Takoma Park National Coffeehouse NASA Takoma Park Folk Festival Snapshots Gallery of Art Programming Snapshots will also televise live the 2008 Azalea Awards on 10:00 AM Coffeehouse City Council Music da Government Takoma Park Coffeehouse Saturday, April 26 starting Meeting camera Focus Snapshots at 7 p.m. in the Commu- (Replay) nity Center Auditorium. 11:00 AM Takoma Park CaribNation Takoma Park National Takoma Park Media Watch City TV Local Folk Festival Gallery of Art City TV Local on Hunger Replays this month will Events Events include Energy Star for Community NOON Bulletin Board City Council Small Businesses presen- Meeting tation from March 11, and the Takoma Metro Community 1:00 PM The Road to Takoma Park Takoma Park (Replay) Takoma Park Priority Setting Workshop held on March 19 . Recovery City TV Local City TV Local Folk Festival Events Events 2:00 PM Media Watch Takoma Park Media Watch New music this month will include more releases from on Hunger Folk Festival on Hunger the various fall festivals. We’ll also be releasing the perfor- 3:00 PM Takoma Park Music da Takoma Park mance of the 2008 Jazz Band Brawl winner “Little Falls Snapshots NASA camera City TV Local Programming Quartet.” Events 4:00 PM PreSchool Takoma Park Coffeehouse Takoma Park Déjà vu: Power Snapshots Folk Festival Takoma Music takoma snapshots in april will include: 5:00 PM Music da Takoma Park Government Government Revisited • Community Oriented Policing: Chief Speaks Out camera Snapshots Focus Focus • Ethiopian Art Exhibit 5:30 PM Chinese News Community Chinese News Community Takoma Park Takoma Community Community and neighborhood groups may submit non- 6:00 PM Bulletin Board Bulletin Board Snapshots Snapshots Bulletin Board commercial notices regarding meetings or special events to City TV for inclusion on the bulletin board. National 7:00 PM Gallery of Art Takoma Park Takoma Park Coffeehouse Takoma Park City TV is carried on Channel 13 on Comcast and RCN, Snapshots City TV Local Snapshots and Channel 28 on the Verizon system. Many programs, 7:30 PM City Council Events Meeting including Council meetings and Snapshots, are available 8:00 PM (LIVE) Coffeehouse City Council Takoma Park Takoma Park Takoma Park for on-demand viewing from the City website as well. Be Meeting Folk Festival City TV Local Folk Festival (Replay) Events sure to visit City TV’s award-winning webpage at www.Ta- komaParkMD.gov/cable for specific program information. 9:00 PM Takoma Park Takoma Park Folk Festival City TV Local 10:00 PM Events Government Takoma Park Coffeehouse All Council meetings and Snapshots episodes are also Focus Folk Festival available for patron check out at the Takoma Park Mary- land Library. VHS tapes of these shows, as well as other 11:00 PM CaribNation Takoma Park Coffeehouse Takoma Park Takoma Park City TV events, may be purchased for $15 City TV City TV Local (pick up) or $18 (mail). Some programs are also available 12:00 Takoma Park City Council Takoma Park Special Events Déjà vu: Takoma Park Events on DVD. Call 301-891-7118 or send an email to: cabletv@ Meeting Takoma Music Snapshots Midnight Snapshots (Replay) Snapshots Revisited takomagov.org for more information. Déjà vu: 1:00 AM Road to Community Takoma Music Recovery Bulletin Board Revisited Programming subject to change without notice. CITY TV is carried on Channel 13 on Comcast and RCN and channel 28 on Verizon. Takoma Park City TV Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 7500 Maple Avenue Web: www.takomaparkmd.gov/cable Takoma Park, MD 20912 Page 12 April 2008 Takoma Park Newsletter Pajama Squid, Bikram and Pizza at the Junction NEWs Briefs A mid the hoopla of the Earth Day flexibility and prevent injury, and the mentary about sea creatures. celebration on April 20 at Ta- practice, overall, strengthens muscle, To learn more about the Pajama annual house and Garden tour May 4 koma Junction (see story, page increases flexibility, and develops bal- Squid, or to shop online starting April The 35th Takoma Park House and Garden Tour, spon- 1), three new businesses are being wel- ance. Classes are offered throughout 1, see www.ThePajamaSquid.com. sored by Historic Takoma, will take place from 1 - 5 comed to the community. The Pajama the week, with an introductory seven- At 7322 Carroll Avenue, the Pizza p.m. Sunday, May 4, rain or shine. Its theme, “First Stop Squid, a children’s store with clothing, day pass priced at $25. For more infor- Palace is undergoing renovation at the Takoma!” focuses on more than a dozen houses, gardens toys and books; Bikram Yoga Takoma mation, see bikramyogatp.com. hand of Abdul Baig, who expects to and other buildings in the Takoma D.C. neighborhood. Park; and Pizza Roma, a Halal carryout Just down the street is the Pajama The tour includes historic homes, as well as the first re-open as Pizza Roma in May. Baig’s replacing Pizza Palace. Their impact is Squid, at 7320 Carroll Avenue. This branch of the DC Public Library. Advance tickets, $15, existing Pizza Roma in College Park, expected to reach far beyond the day’s playful store features quality books, are available at the Takoma Park Silver Spring Coop, near REI at the intersection of Rhode American Craft, Now and Then, Mark's Kitchen and the festivities. toys and clothing for families and Island Avenue and Edgewood Road, is Culture Shop. Tickets the day of the tour, $20, are avail- In fact, Bikram Yoga Takoma Park, especially children. Takoma Park at 7324 Carroll Avenue, could im- resident and owner Tiffany King is of- known for its cheese steak subs, pizzas able at the D.C. Public Library, 416 Cedar Street NW, prove your health. Stephen Pleasant, fering a number of products that sup- and gyros. Baig’s sandwiches and piz- where advance ticket holders can also get a brochure the owner of the studio, offers clas- port women in developing countries, zas use turkey ham and bacon, beef with property locations and descriptions for the self- sic Bikram-style classes: a 90-minute and others incorporating natural and sausage and Halal pepperoni so he can guided tour. locations of the properties on the tour and series of 26 yoga postures performed eco-friendly materials. She named the serve “anything and everything” and an informative description. See www.historictakoma. in a room heated to as high as 105 de- store for her “favorite squid,” an actual still keep Halal (many Muslims eat org or call 301-270-2831 for more information. grees Fahrenheit. The heat works to species of squid called “pajama squid” Halal, much as Jews eat Kosher). Baig decrease muscle resistance, increase that she encountered watching a docu- expects to open in May. sign up for the parade The Takoma Park Independence Committee, Inc. is en- couraging neighborhoods, civic associations, businesses, churches, organizations, families, schools and anyone in- terested in celebrating the Fourth of July to build a float, decorate a bike, a wagon, carriage, form a kazoo band, a musical group, form a neighborhood marching unit, dress up in your native dress, form a dance group. Use your imagination and join the fun. The theme this year is “Unity in Diversity.” For further information visit our web site www.Ta- koma Park4th.org or call 301-270-6876. free Mulch available Springtime has arrived, and neighbors are out spruc- ing up their gardens. Remember, the City of Takoma Park has plenty of mulch available for your yard projects. You can: • Have it delivered: $45 to $65, depending on load size ($65 to $105 for non-residents). Call 301-891-7633 to schedule a delivery. Deliveries are made on Fridays; payment must be received at Public Works by Thurs- day afternoon. • Load up your truck: pull up to the pile and Public hunting, takoma park style Works will load your truck with mulch for $20 or $30, depending upon truck size. Or, you can load it your- The Annual Egg Hunt sponsored by self for free. You’ll find the mulch at the Public Works the Recreation Department once yard, 31 Oswego Avenue in Takoma Park. again drew excited youngsters to the field behind Piney Branch Elemen- • Bring your own bags. Better than paying for pre- tary School, where they ran pell-mell bagged mulch, you can fill bags of mulch and haul across the grass trying to gather as them away in the back of the car. many eggs as they could find. The For more information, call 301-891-7633. fun wasn’t limited to little people, either — there were a few four-legged recycle your electronics friends on hand, and proud parents Plan on toting your old electronics over to the Takoma observing from behind. Park, Maryland Library parking lot for recycling on Sat- Photo: Debra Haiduven urday, May 10 at the annual E-Cycle Event. The City’s De- partment of Public Works sponsors the collection to be sure the hazardous metals in many of these devices – like cadmium, lead, and mercury – stay out of the Montgom- ery County incinerator. Takoma Park will be accepting computer-related equipment, telephones, cell phones, cameras, radios, TVs (non-console type), stereos, tape players, scanners, copiers, fax machines, surge protec- tors and CD players for recycling. The E-Cycle Event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 10. The library parking lot is located at the corner of Maple Avenue and East-West Highway/Philadelphia Avenue. For more in- formation, contact Public Works at 301-891-7633. azalea awards april 26 The annual recognition of Takoma Park’s thriving volunteer spirit, the Azalea Awards, comes around this spring on Saturday, April 26. Sponsored by the Takoma Foundation and the “Takoma Voice,” the festive event celebrates those volunteers who have made an especially significant impact on the community as they work with youth, environment, education, business, music, art, ac- tivism and more. For more information on the event, see http://www.takomafoundation.org/awards.html.